Additional contributions by David Cohen.

In the West, monopolies are a source of fear. Silicon Valley has tried for many years to convince users and regulators that the term should be rehabilitated. Since the 2016 American presidential election, however, the increasingly monolithic role of tech in Western society is coming under fire. Leaders of tech firms are being subjected to vitriol in public hearings in the US, while the EU searches for ways to curtail their influence in public and private life. In China, however, the role of tech in society is viewed in a much different light. For the state, big is beautiful.

Like the West, China has its clear tech winners. But there’s no easy comparison. Much ink has been spilled trying to understand Chinese tech majors by comparing them to Silicon Valley counterparts; just as American tech majors control ever more of the economy, so too do China’s. 

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John Artman

John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...